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First gold for NZ! Rowers Prendergast and Gowler triumph in Tokyo

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Rowing - Women's Pair - Medal Ceremony - Sea Forest Waterway, Tokyo, Japan - July 29, 2021 Gold medallists Grace Prendergast of New Zealand and Jackie Gowler of New Zealand celebrate with their medals REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

First gold for NZ! Rowers Prendergast and Gowler triumph in Tokyo

First gold for NZ! Rowers Prendergast and Gowler triumph in Tokyo

New Zealand’s unstoppable crew triumphed in the women’s pair event as Olympic rowing continued on Thursday at Tokyo’s blustery Sea Forest Waterway.

After clinching their Wednesday semi-final in a world-best time, Kiwis Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler again dazzled, overcoming a slow start and taking the lead shortly after the midway point to win in 6:50.19.

The Russian Olympic Committee team and Canada took silver and bronze respectively.

Speaking to Sky Sport following the race, Gowler thanked the pair’s supporters.

“Thanks for all the support, it’s been such a long campaign … five years, and I’m gutted everyone can’t be here with us. But we hope we have made you proud,” she said.

“We crossed and I was like ‘was someone ahead of us?’ I was just so focussed on us so I was like ‘did we do it?’. Honestly, I can’t believe it.”

Tokyo Bay again dished out windy conditions and the heat continued to punish competitors, with temperatures hovering near 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) Thursday morning, as the sun broke through early cloud cover.

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